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Tell Us We're Home av Marina Budhos
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Tell Us We're Home (utgåvan 2010)

av Marina Budhos

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9912215,957 (3.47)Ingen/inga
Three immigrant girls from different parts of the world meet and become close friends in a small New Jersey town where their mothers have found domestic work, but their relationships are tested when one girl's mother is accused of stealing a precious heirloom.
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"Tell Us We're Home" is a really fast paced and thoughtful novel. I love that its female characters are strong, diverse, and complex. The tension between familial culture and the suburban culture of Meadowbrook is also really strong. I love how Maria, Jaya, and Lola's experiences show the difficulties of living between two different culture. Important question arise: How much should I assimilate to suburban American culture? How does economics and class effect relationships?

*I also really liked how Budhos used italic texts to show the internal words that the girls didn't feel like they could say openly.

VOYA Based Ratings:
4Q
4P
  jdg1399 | May 30, 2013 |
My VOYA codes: 4Q, 2P

Three friends whose mothers are all housekeepers in their affluent town drift apart as each girl struggles separately to find a place in America where she can feel at home.

Each girl is an immigrant from a different country: Jaya is from Trinidad, Maria is from Mexico, and Lola is from Slovakia. They were originally drawn together by shared feelings of alienation from the wealthy Americans around them and the fact that their mothers are all maids.

After Jaya Lal's mother's employer suffers a massive heart attack, Mrs. Lal is suspected of stealing some valuable jewelry and fired. Jaya secretly wonders if the accusations might be true.

Maria meets a handsome blanco boy and offers to give him Spanish lessons as a way to get close. She secretly struggles with feelings of envy for the privileged lives of the Americans her mother works for.

Lola (my favorite of the three) is sharp-tongued and outspoken, and frustrated with her depressed father's unwillingness to find work. She resents her own outsider status at school, but everything she does to stand up for herself pushes people further away.

The story is heavily invested in character development and is told in a non-linear way, with plenty of flashbacks and descriptions. (At first, it was difficult to follow the main thread of the story and to know which character's POV I was following.) Each girl comes to a revelation about herself and her relationship to her new country, but other than that there is little resolution to their problems.

It's not the kind of book I typically gravitate toward, and for me it was just okay. Too slow-moving, and I found myself getting irritated with the girls for devaluing their mothers' hard work by being ashamed of them. It's the kind of book grownups want kids to love, but that doesn't offer a compelling story to hold their attention, and is deadly serious without any levity to liven things up. Definitely for older teens with literary tastes.

For my YA realistic fiction, I'll stick with John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) or Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) who both have a much-needed sense of humor when tackling difficult issues.
  Erin_Boyington | May 16, 2013 |
This tale of three best friends—Jaya, Maria, and Lola—has a depth and complexity that may challenge young adult readers. This is not to say that the work lacks entertainment value or is in any way turgid. Budhos manages both to explore issues such as the immigrant experience —Jaya’s parents include an Indian mother and Afro-Caribbean father both from Trinidad, Maria’s family is from Mexico, and Lola’s family from Romania—and racial and ethnic tension while still writing with a light touch. Serious episodes, such as Jaya’s mother being accused of robbing her employer and the sad decline of Lola’s father, are balanced with humor, hope, and true friendship. The audience for this book is without a doubt teenage girls, but though it would be a tough sell for boys, the many layers of the story—social, ethnic, emotional—could appeal to those boys willing to be seen reading it.
  compjohn | May 3, 2012 |
Three perspectives from three different girls. Each is from a family of immigrants to the US and has experienced how tough it is to get by in a new country. Money issues, looking different, skin color, and accents. They find solace in each others' friendship though and soon find out that they can make it through tough times. ( )
  Jennanana | Apr 29, 2012 |
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Meadowbrook, New Jersey, looks like it's right out of an old-time postcard. It has a big town hall, with huge columns and a neat border of red tulips.
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Three immigrant girls from different parts of the world meet and become close friends in a small New Jersey town where their mothers have found domestic work, but their relationships are tested when one girl's mother is accused of stealing a precious heirloom.

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